The Liberty County High School’s boys’ basketball team played in the Holiday Hoopsgiving Tournament held in Atlanta Nov. 25 and finished 1-1.
Liberty lost 104-71 to Newton High School in game one despite a great game put forward by junior Panther Will Richardson.
Richardson led the Panthers in scoring with 30 points.
Senior Davion Mitchell chipped in 23 points, 21 points coming off seven 3-point shots. Richardson had three from behind the arc and Jyaunti Haggray had two 3-pointers.
Richardson’s high-scoring performance was mentioned by basketball scout Evan Daniels of scout.com. Daniels reported that Richardson got noticed and is being watched by Auburn’s Bruce Pearl.
Daniels reported the Richardson currently has offers from Georgia Southern, Georgia, Auburn, Florida Gulf Coast and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He added Wake Forest and Pittsburgh are showing interest after they spotted his performance at the Atlanta tournament.
The Newton Rams, of Covington, are 5-0 and considered the top rated team in Region 8-AAAAAAA.
“It was a good test for us though to see how far we have to go if we want to compete with the best,” Panther boys’ basketball coach Julian Stokes said. “Our defense lacked that game and we played “stand and watch” type offense. No movement no rebounding and you just can’t do that against a team like that. They were similar to us in terms of guards. They had a big three and we only had our big two with the absence of
Richard due to still playing football. Good experience overall though for our guys to be a part of such a great event and to see what basketball is like outside of our area.”
Mitchell has already signed a scholarship to play for the auburn Tigers after graduation in May 2017. The bad news is that Mitchell hurt his foot during the game against Newton and will miss the next three weeks of action.
The following day, and without Mitchell, the Panthers rebounded with a 53-27 win over Friendship Collegiate Academy. Richardson led the team in scoring with 20 points. Haggray added 10.
This past Friday the Panthers were in Brunswick against the Pirates. Brunswick managed to squeeze out a 67-62 win in a heated contest.
The Liberty boys are 3-2 overall.
The Lady Panthers didn’t play during the Thanksgiving break. Their last game was at the Joe Greene Classic Nov. 22 where they lost 59-39 against Beach High. Lady Panther Jasmine Brooks tossed in 18 points to lead the Liberty girls. She also hit three 3-pointers.
This past Friday the girls also took on the Brunswick Lady Pirates losing 43-28. The girls were schedule to play Effingham County Saturday afternoon. The final score from that game was not in by press time.
Both Liberty teams will pay at Richmond Hill Tuesday. The girls take the court first at 6 p.m. The boys’ game will follow.